Book Review

Savage Moon by Cassie Edwards

F

Title: Savage Moon
Author: Cassie Edwards
Publication Info: Dorchester 2002
ISBN: 0843949635
Genre: Historical: Other

It’s awful. it’s just awful.

Does that sum it up enough? No? You want me to relive the story details for you, to put my brain through the egg beater one more time? I’m already mour stupidur for having read this stinker of a book. But fine.

About two or three weeks ago, anonymous packages started showing up on my porch every few days. Inside each one was a Cassie Edwards novel. Due to this absurdly generous person, I am now the proud owner of Savage Moon, Savage Hope and a few other savage titles that I’m not even going to get up out of this chair to go verify. There are five Savages currently living in my bookshelf. I have them isolated. No telling what contagion they might pass on to the other books.

I mentioned the arrival of these packages of poop in book form to Candy, who, if it were possible to do so over IM, snickered and professed innocence to any idea that Cassie Edwards might need to find a home on my poor bookshelf. Despite the fact that each book bears a sales tag from Powell’s, which last I checked was in OREGON, the same state as presently houses CANDY (and also LILITH so do not THINK you are off the hook, ma’am), I have no concrete proof as to who set me up the bomb.

Then Candy, evil wench that she is, publicly challenged me to a duel of sorts: read a horrid book, write a review. I, of course, was conveniently gifted with a shit buffet of Edwards oeuvre, so why shouldn’t I put myself through the agony of reading one of these savage monstrosities?

Trouble was, I had to pick one. So I picked Savage Moon since the title was funny enough that perhaps laughing at it could give me a small soothing balm of comfort while I poisoned my brain. Alas, the Moon did little to help me. Thus book sucked donkey balls. There isn’t an F low enough to throw at it. I might have to modify our grading schedule and give it a Z except that the poor letter Z did nothing to deserve being permanently stuck on a Cassie Edwards novel.

Let me give you a brief plot summary: Misshi Bradley, who is really named Mitzi but her older brother has a monster of a lisp and can’t say her name so Misshi she is, thereby damning me to think of Misha Baryshnikov, is on a wagon at age 10 heading west. Her parents are dead, her siblings are dead, and the only family member left is her older brother, Dale. As expected, their wagon train is attacked by a renegade band of Shoshone Indians, lead by Chief Bear, who grabs Misshi with her wild red hair, throws her over his saddle, and rides away. Dale manages to get off one shot, which lodges in Chief Bear’s head, completely scrambling his brains, though he does manage to hold onto a squirming 10 year old tossed across his saddle.

Misshi is brought to Chief Bear’s camp but makes her escape in the fuss the others make over Chief Bear’s incapacitated state. Moments before Chief Bear and his comatose self are brought into the camp, however, Chief Bear’s wife helps their only son, Soaring Hawk, escape to form a camp of his own, because he does not approve of his fathers renegade ways. Trust me, he doesn’t approve. He says it about six time in one page.

Ten years later, when Misshi is conveniently 18 years of age, the book reveals that she’s been miraculously adopted by a neighboring Shoshone tribe and made the adopted daughter of the chief. How this was accomplished, no one knows, least of all me because the book didn’t tell me, but Misshi is a happy, dimwitted dipshit of a heroine in the Edwards mold, and has dyed her hair black with some random but powerful weed so she can blend in better with the other Shoshone.

Her adopted father turns out to be something of a mentor to Soaring Hawk, who is now a chief in his own right, and his little band of not-so-renegade-but-yet-renegade dudes has grown and remained safe and happy in their secret location. Soaring Hawk meets Misshi, their respective nether parts burst in to flame, and the obstacles they have to overcome to find their happy ending revolve around the fact that she’s white with red hair. Misshi realizes her appearance as a Shoshone is only skin deep, and she must struggle to find emotional and cultural balance between her old life, her yearning to be reunited with her brother, and her new potential life as a chief’s white wife, even IF the other members of his group accept her.

HA! I’m kidding. Honest appraisal of cultural difference? You are barking up the wrong shit tree. Not here, my friend. The obstacles facing Misshi and Soarking Hawk’s happiness stem from her brother Dale’s having gone batshit crazy while serving in the military. Vowing revenge for the kidnapping of his sister, he dresses as an Indian and attacks Indian camps and wagon trains, scalping and killing everyone in site, and saving the scalps as tribute to his lost sister. As soon as he finds Chief Bear, whom he doesn’t know has had his chiefly brains turned into a cerebral scramble, he plans on quitting his life of bloody crime and going off to St. Louis to be an opera singer.

No really. I’m not making that up.

Since I had to go through the experience of not only reading this tripe but reading it PUBLIC where people on the bus could SEE that I was reading this tripe, I figured, what better way to share my journey through the Cassie circle of hell than to excerpt my very favorite parts of the book and footnote them with my reaction. Hold your mouse over the hypertext and a small window should appear. Let me know if it doesn’t work in your browser.

Journey with me now. But take some Pepto first.

“Misshi, you are in such deep thought. What were you thinking about, little sister, that made you smile so sweetly?”

No way dude. Do not ask what her thoughts were. I cannot handle an incest subplot. It’s only page 6.

“You, big brother, you.”
She reached over and placed a hand on his knee.
“Maybe I’d best not ask what your thoughts were, but you were smiling, weren’t you?”

For the record: I was not smiling

“It tears at my heart to know that such a man has my sister.” He would hunt down Chief Bear and kill the savage himself. If… she…was still alive!

Note: ellipses are for em…pha…sis….

“Son, your tepee awaits you. Foods that you kill will cook over the flames of the fires. I have taught you not only how to be a strong leader with the right morals, but I have also taken the time to teach you the art of cooking, since you and your braves will not have mothers, or daughters, or even cousins to cook for you.”

Heaven forbid he not have the right morals, or that the reader not be informed of them through wooden dialogue! And clearly his mother’s other Indian name: JuliaFuckingChild.

When she saw the lifeless body…she knew the one lying there was her husband. Signing with relief, for she did love the man no matter the havoc he wreaked everywhere he went, she fell to her knees.

Of course she loves him. He kills people in fits of rage and she has had to send her only child away for his own safety. How can you not love a man like that?

He was devoted to his small group…. And with a woman by his side, giving him the nourishment of her love, could he not be twice the leader he was said to be today?

Sounds like Soaring Hawk is really just tired of cooking for himself.

My heart is heavy. I cannot put everyone in danger only because the boy in me wants to go to my mother.

What a weenus

Misshi signed happily. She had adapted well to life with these kind Shoshone. She had even dyed her hair black with the stalks of a root called we-sha-sha so that she could look like an Indian. She was so very fond of her life as an Indian maiden that she was averse to the idea of going back to live in the white world.

Looking for the backstory of how she adapted to this new life? This is all you get

“It seems that fate today has arranged that you and my adopted daughter should finally meet. Perhaps it is the will of the spirits. I am not one to argue with fate.”

Fate, huh? Chief Stepfather clearly studied his Greek and Roman mythology in Indian chief school.

“My son is too astute to take such bait…. He is a man who prays and whose prayers are answered. In his prayers he sees his mother well and strong.”

Part of those morals she taught, huh? Christian rhetoric towards prayer? In my prayers I see myself with no recollection that this book exists.

He had to see to Chief Bear’s demise. Of late he had discovered he had a talent for singing. He couldn’t help wondering how it would feel to perform before an audience in St. Louis’s beautiful opera house.

See? I was not kidding.  Opera + Lisp = Subtle reference to gayness and therefore teh evil.

He was sure she had feelings for him, and that knowledge made his loins ache with need of her. He wanted her with him always!

When a man you have never met before realizes his loins ache with need of you…now THAT is Impulse. Or VD.

“Soaring Hawk, is it not time for your blankets to be warmed by a woman’s body? Does not Misshi stir your loins?”

That would be her stepfather talking. At this scene I crossed my legs and felt ill.

She gasped, embarrassed by Washakie’s openness in speaking about Soaring Hawk’s loins!

I did not want to know about his loins, either, but no one asked me.

But nearby, glittering evil green eyes watched them from high above, soon to make a beautiful moon become suddenly…savage.

Did you miss that? The moon is…savage? Like the title of the book? Yeah? You got that? Ok then.

Because life was harsh here in Wyoming land.

It is pretty fucking awful here in Jersey land because I am still reading this goddam piece of shite book.

“Do you truly think I can learn how to ride a horse again?”
“You will ride, you will feel the freedom of riding, and you will feel the joy it brings to your heart.”

Yeah. Subtle, there, Mr. Hawk. Also, would the concept of a heart properly belong in Shoshone vernacular?

“When I wish to be alone with my prayers, I come to this secret place. One day, though, it will be discovered by whites.”

‘You mean like the one next to you? You want to offend the girl who stirs your loins?

“It is so beautiful,” Misshi sighed.

Never mind. She is too stupid to be offended.

A blaze of urgency filled her as his tongue continued to pleasure her in a way she would have thought forbidden. But the wild exuberant passion it created within her made her uncaring of society’s rules.

What society? Does Native American society forbid oral sex? Or was she thinking of Regency society?

“Nei-com-man-pe-ein, I love you, woman,” Soaring Hawk said huskily, then crushed her lips with a heated kiss and ground his body into hers until they both moaned.

Probably because it hurt. Ow.

“Those responsible for this kill might be close enough to grab you.”
“Then go and I will go with you; I shall keep my eyes closed.”

Can I keep my eyes closed, too? For the rest of the book?

He knew that this night would not pass without their coming together as lovers!

Chiefs who speak in exclamation points are probably lousy in bed, though.

In Shoshone and Bannock the North Star is called Wa-se-a-ure-chah-pe, and then there is Ursa Major which his also called the Seven Stars and The Wagon. It makes its revolution around the polar star, pointing toward it. This is the secret of how my people travel by night when there is no moon.”

Time to show off a small amount of research!’

“I love the Milky Way.” I love how it is called moch-pa-achon-ka-hoo, the backbone of the sky.”

This is one hell of a Wiki article she read.

“We also believe the Aurora Borealis is a cloud of fire.”

At least, we believe it because the internet says we do.

Nothing had stopped Chief Bear’s hate until that bullet entered the base of his skull and rendered him almost a vegetable.

Yes. Native Americans totally used that phrase to describe catatonic people.

Misshi turned toward White Snow Feather. She tried to ignore the resentment in the depths of the woman’s eyes.
“White Snow Feather, I can never forget what Chief Bear did to my family, and I’m not sure I can ever forgive him, but if Soaring Hawk can bargain for his release, I will not interfere.”
Just that quickly, the antagonism White Snow Feather had felt for Misshi was gone.

You mean your conflict with your mother in law is not solved this easily?’

His father wasn’t even aware when Soaring Hawk could no longer hold back his tears and took Chief Bear into his arms. “Oh, Father, is it I. It is Soaring Hawk who has come to take you home to Mother.”

What a weenus.

“This is our special night. My woman, I have not even played my flute of love for you.”

NO NO NO. DO NOT PLAY YOUR FLUTE OF LOVE.

He was proud of her knowledge of the Shoshone way of healing. She knew so much, no Shaman was required to ensure Soaring Hawk’s health.

She is a regular powerhouse of healing, yet she is dumb as tree bark.

“See the dried material on the very tips of the sharpened stone arrowhead?” Soaring Hawk said, pointing toward it. “The points of these arrowheads have been dipped into a mixture of pulverized ants and the spleen of an animal that has been allowed to decay in the direct rays of the sun,” Soaring Hawk said grimly. “This rotten mixture combined with rattlesnake venom is the deadliest of weapons.”

Hey! It is CSI: Shoshone!

Misshi fell to her knees. “Finding these scalps and these arrows proves that my brother has been killing whites and making it look like the work of Indians.”

Or merely that he likes to kill people and keep souvenirs under his floorboards. Nice aroma. Hides the crazy person smell.

“During council, I had a premonition you weren’t safe.”

Nah. Really they were about to form a task force and he ran out of there before they appointed him to it.

“Big brother, who was the true savage! You were, Dale, you were.”

Yeah. You were. In case you missed all the scalping earlier, gentle reader. In ironic twist: white brother = savage.

“These flowers will help erase the ugliness I just went through.”

Where are my fucking flowers that can erase the ugliness I went through!? SOMEONE GET THOSE HEALING MEMORY ERASING FLOWERS ON THE PORCH – STAT!

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    AnimeJune says:

    “Flute of Love”? *stolen for own romance novel title*

    Flute of Love “Oboe,” she swore, albeit muffled by her head cold, “I cannot fall in love with a flautist, no matter what his trombone looks like, because bassoon I will be wed to the man who answers my father’s saxaphones at his quick-speed clarinet company!”

    “Oh yeah?” he said. “Well, I’ve been trained my entire life how to blow something just the right way while covering all the right holes. Surely those skills can translate to lovemaking! Surely?”

  2. 2
    Karla says:

    He would hunt down Chief Bear and kill the savage himself. If… she…was still alive!   Wait a second he wants her dead?

    That was really amazing.  The astronomy lesson just died under the weight of historical logic.  *cries*  Why did that have to be in there.

    Next up CSI: Shoshone and the spy in the tribe.

  3. 3
    Alex says:

    Can’t…stop…laughing…

    They actually publish this shit? On purpose? Is this Cassie Edwards married to a publishing exec?

  4. 4
    dl says:

    I’m in total awe…that you actually finished it. 

    Book. Cover.  No need to embarrass yourself or others in public.  I’ve been known to read (discreetly covered) erotica in the waiting room of a busy pediatrician (& way better than watching “Toy Story” for the umpteenth time).

  5. 5
    SandyO says:

    I want to know about that amazing medical term “almost a vegetable.”  Is that like a tomato which is really a fruit but everyone thinks is a vegetable?

    And I bet Soaring Chickadee had been fingering that flute for a long long time.

  6. 6
    Ann Bruce says:

    “These flowers will help erase the ugliness I just went through.”

    Where are my fucking flowers that can erase the ugliness I went through!? SOMEONE GET THOSE HEALING MEMORY ERASING FLOWERS ON THE PORCH – STAT!

    *ahem*  I don’t think it’s flowers, but grass…very special grass.

  7. 7
    Angel says:

    Oh, gah. *laugh*

    Awful Book + Smart Bitch = One True Pairing. Their love is so abusive and wittily cruel!

    If I had ugliness erasing flowers at hand, I think I’d read a lot more Romance.

  8. 8
    Keziah Hill says:

    All those references to loins make me think of lamb loins or pork loins. No quite the image I think she has in mind.

  9. 9
    Teddy Pig says:

    moch-pa-achon-ka-hoo

    means

    Hab SoSlI’ Quch!

    Which is Klingon for your mother has a smooth forehead.

  10. 10
    Arin Rhys says:

    How did you read that? I’m in awe.

    Ive only managed a few pages of a Cassie Edwards in a library when I was first reading romances and I just couldn’t go further.

    My word: Certain59. I am certain to 59 degrees that Cassie Edwards sucks.

  11. 11
    AJ says:

    AnimeJune, that was so funny I almost peed myself, and probably way better than Cassie Edwards.

  12. 12
    Bella says:

    er. Soaking Hawk? Soaking. Hawk. Is this the great spirit bird that pees on you as it flies by?

  13. 13
    --E says:

    Sarah, you are forgiven. I am a moron and didn’t see this post…I don’t know why.

    HILARIOUS. Particularly “It is pretty fucking awful here in Jersey land because I am still reading this goddam piece of shite book.”

    Edwards’s prose is a special brand of bad, hoo boy.

  14. 14
    --E says:

    Also, “Soaking hawk’s loins”—I kept reading that as “Hawk’s soaking loins” and thinking the poor guy was a premature shooter.

  15. 15
    Lia says:

    “He couldn’t help wondering how it would feel to perform before an audience..”

    Maybe he should ask Snakeboy from the Garden O’Eden(tm)?

    Flute of Love.  Somebody scalp the wench before she attacks another tribe!

  16. 16
    AnimeJune says:

    Thank you, AJ.

    I actually played flute in junior high music class – it’s pretty hard.

    And I think in Soaring Hawk’s personal case, he would be more accurate in calling it his “piccolo of love” or his “penny whistle of love” or “ocarina of love.”

    “Dog whistle of love” just doesn’t have the right sound to it.

  17. 17
    bookworm says:

    No fair. Why do I get beat up for suggesting that many romance novels would be improved immeasurably by killing off the protagonists? Don’t you wish this pair had gone to the great spirit on page one? Wouldn’t the book have been perfect then? Where’s the tequila? Oh wait – it’s right here in front of me. And gimme some o’ them forgetfull flowers too. Hic.

    My secret word: run 52. And I’m running, baby, just as far as I can get from Cassie whassername.

  18. 18
    kambriel says:

    Flute of love…flute of love…hmm

    Okay.

    Soaring Hawk had been looking forward to that evening when his true love woman was going to tune his man flute of love. 

    He enjoyed her checking the top piece, but then when she worked on toning the sharps to pitchpipe he became uncomfortable.  After she started in with toning flats, he had to put a stop to it.

Comments are closed.

↑ Back to Top